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Rwandan Genocide: Two Nuns Found Guilty

 

Back in 1994, the world witness one of the most horrific massacres of our age only second to the Jewish holocaust during World War Two.  About one million or more people, the vast majority consisting of ethnic Tutsis, were massacred by rival ethnic Hutus.  Rwanda is mainly a Roman Catholic country, and the involvement of priests and nuns in the genocide began to take form as news began to surface, reporting that several local church societies were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, killing  Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

 

Last April, it had been reported two Rwandan nuns known as "Sisters" Gertrude who is a Hutu, and a mother superior of the Benedictine convent at Sova, Rwanda, and Marie Kisito, were found guilty in a Belgian court for participating in the massive genocide.  The 12 panel jury spends hours deliberating into the early hours of Friday morning, June 8, 2001, before they came to their conclusion that both nuns were guilty.  This was the first time Belgium used this particular law which was passed 7 years ago. It allows the government to try cases of  alleged human rights violations even if they were committed abroad.

 

   Now let's look closer at the crimes in particular, which were committed by both Nuns.  Nun Gertrude turned away thousands of ethnic Tutsis who were fleeing from the genocide.  Instead of sheltering these poor people which could have saved their lives, Nun Gertrude called Hutu soldiers who then stoned, hacked, and burned to death over 5,000 men, women, and children.  Nun Marie was found guilty of supplying Hutu soldiers with the petrol they needed to start a fire and burn 700 people to death, who were hiding in a garage on the grounds of the convent.

 

The Tutsi-dominated government eventually took control of the whole country, prompting the two nuns to leave.  They fled to Belgium, and there they were caught and then put on trial.  What is amazing, is the fact that among Nun Gertrude's accusers where fellow nuns, who blamed her for the deaths of over 30 of their family members who had been hidden in the convent until she called in the Hutu authorities.  The prosecutor pointed out, the convent became a deadly trap (The Southern Cross, June 20, 2001). 

 

Nun Gertrude was sentenced to only 15 years in prison for her acts against her fellow man and God, while nun Marie got only 12 years.  Both nuns were given the opportunity to speak in court before jury deliberations on their behalf, but Nun Gertrude said, she had nothing to say, and Marie told the jurors that she was innocent of any wrong doing, the whole thing was a "lie" she said.

 

Two days after the trial, the Vatican issued a statement about the nuns who were found guilty of genocide. The statement contained a very skeptical position towards the nuns guilt, and yet at the same time, the Vatican tries to distance itself from them. Not surprisingly, there are no statements from the Vatican indicating the nuns will be excommunicated, furthering their position that the nuns did nothing wrong, despite overwhelming evidence that included eyewitness accounts by their fellow nuns.   

 

This trial is only the tip of the iceberg.  The truth is, the Hutu Priests and Nuns, were  actively involved in one of the most horrific sinful acts of our time, the massacre of the ethnic Tutsis.  Even now, Italy refuses to hand over a Popish priest named Athanase Seromba who fled Rwanda and is now living in Italy, because of being sought for trial for his alleged crimes, he committed during the 1994, ethnic massacre in Rwanda. 

 

We must pray for these people, man's heart is so dark (Romans 3:11,12), God's justice will be done in this world or in the next for these people. But let's hope according to His will, that God saves them from eternal damnation by granting them repentance unto life. The only hope we  have is in Christ and Christ alone!

 

 

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